U of Illinois chancellor decision expected behind closed doors

The University of Illinois is expected to pick its next leader within days, a decision that will likely be made behind closed doors.

The News-Gazette out of east central Illinois reports the public won’t get access to the final stages of the process.

If tradition holds, the university will simply announce its choice after closed-door interviews with the finalists, with little or no word about who else was considered for the job.

What’s behind the reason for the closed door selection?   UI folks are voicing the same concerns we heard during the search for the University of Minnesota’s next president.  They fear making finalists names public, or opening the process up to the public, will scare off candidates.

According to the story, UI officials even point to the U of M search to make their case.

Tih-Fen Ting, associate professor at the UI Springfield, said committee members signed a “code of ethics” to keep the information confidential.

She noted that two of the four finalists dropped out of the University of Minnesota’s presidential search last year because the school planned to release their names. Eric Kaler was eventually hired.

A tip of the hat to reporters Julie Wurth and Paul Wood for filing a request under the Illinois Freedom of Information Act to get the names of the finalists in the UI Chancellor’s search.  During the U of M president search we did the same, only to be told that since the candidates in the U of M search were considered “semi” finalists, state law allows the U to keep their names secret.